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01-15-2014, 01:55 PM
  #948
MrJoshua
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Location: Decatur, AL
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Alright, let's look a little at how the Hendricks trade changes the lineup, for both the rest of this season and next. Legwand and Spaling are the only forwards hitting UFA status at the end of this season. If we assume they're both gone, the roster looks like this for next season using only players currently on the NHL roster and under contract:

Wilson-Fisher-Hornqvist
Stalberg-Smith-Bourque
Nystrom-Cullen
Gaustad-Clune

Weber-Josi
Klein-Ellis
Jones-Ekholm
Bartley

Rinne
Mazanec/Dubnyk/Hutton/random tin can with a smiley face drawn on it

A couple of pretty obvious holes there. If you assume Nystrom drops down to the fourth line there's basically room to build an entire line around one of the centers on the roster. It also opens up the idea of re-signing Spaling or Legwand for another couple of years. But for now we'll assume they're both gone because that would be another entire debate.

I think it's safe to say that Forsberg will be the first call-up from Milwaukee, so pencil him into one of those roster spots. Beck is probably next up after Forsberg. So now the forwards look something like this next year:

Wilson-Fisher-Hornqvist
Forsberg-Smith-Beck
Stalberg-Cullen-Bourque
Clune-Gaustad-Nystrom

Now, there are some obvious questions about the idea of moving Smith back to center. Wilson could be moved to center instead, or Legwand or Spaling could be brought back.

Of course that doesn't address the possibility of free agent signings or trades. But with the pieces in the system right now and barring re-signing Legwand and/or Spaling I think that's pretty close to what we'd see for the team next year. Or if Watson is ready maybe something like:

Wilson-Fisher-Hornqvist
Forsberg-Cullen-Smith
Stalberg-Watson-Beck
Bourque-Gaustad-Nystrom
Clune

It's going to be an interesting off-season this summer. Again.

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